What is a Pulmonologist?
A pulmonologist is a physician who specializes in the care of symptoms (e.g. cough) and diseases of the airways and lungs (e.g. asthma, sinusitis, and cystic fibrosis). Dr. Boas is a Pediatric Pulmonologist which means that he has received specialized training in treating respiratory conditions found in babies, school-aged children, teenagers, and young adults.
Why can’t my Pediatrician or Allergist take care of my asthma?
In many cases, your primary care doctor or allergist can manage your asthma. However, for more challenging cases that are unclear in diagnosis or do not readily respond to therapy, your doctor may choose to seek the expertise of a pulmonologist. Pulmonologists treat all types of asthma whether it be triggered by exercise, infections, cold air, chemical irritants, allergies, or other factors. In addition, CARE Specialists has unique testing capabilities that are not readily available in primary care settings or in an allergist’s office.
How many Board Certified Pediatric Pulmonologists are there?
Not many. In the United States, there are about 600 to 700 certified Pediatric Pulmonologists or about 12 per state. In the Chicago area, most of the pediatric pulmonologists practice in hospital-based clinic settings and are employed by a hospital. Dr. Boas is the only Pediatric Pulmonologist in the Chicago area whose expertise is delivered strictly in a private practice setting.
How much time should I allow for an initial visit?
If your child is able to perform breathing tests or pulmonary function tests, aka PFTs, (usually 4 years and older), then you should allow 2 ½ hours for the appointment. We ask you to arrive 30 minutes before your lab appointment time in order to complete registration (insurance and basic demographic information as well as a 4 page intake form). Then, approximately one hour is allocated for your child to complete a baseline assessment of his/her lung function. Sometimes, a medication called a bronchodilator is given to see whether any abnormalities initially seen are reversible. Some children will need the entire hour to complete the tests while others may finish early. There is no easy way to determine how much time will be needed prior to the visit. After the lab testing, your child will be escorted to the consultation room during the allocated appointment time. A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant trained by Dr. Boas will begin the clinical assessment by obtaining an initial history and performing a physical examination. This midlevel provider will discuss the history taken with Dr. Boas who will then see your child and complete the assessment and review the recommended plan. If your child is under 4 years of age, then the visit time should last about 1 ½ hours as the breathing tests will be omitted.
What about follow-up appointments? How long should I allocate for that type of visit?
We ask that people arrive 15 minutes prior to their visit. Thirty minutes are allocated for the clinical visit and an additional 30 minutes if breathing tests are needed.
Why am I given 2 appointment times for my visits?
The first time given is designated for the pulmonary function lab while the second time is the time set aside for Dr. Boas and his clinical team. If your child is a “quick” breathing test taker, there will be a gap from the time the PFTs are completed to when the clinical visit begins. While you should be given both times during your reminder phone call, if you only hear one time for the appointment, it is likely to be for the lab portion of the visit.
What happens if I show up late for my appointment?
While we do not want people who arrive on time to be delayed for their visit if someone scheduled earlier is late, we will do our best to accommodate any late arrivals. Sometimes, we may not be able to accommodate the late visit and will ask you to reschedule at a later time. Other times, we may ask you to come back later in the day. For our satellite locations, it is much more difficult to accommodate a late arrival due to time, space, and personnel constraints.
Will I have to wait longer than my designated appointment time?
Despite every attempt to “stay on time”, there are many factors beyond our control that can result in getting off schedule. The most common reason for a person being seen late by our staff was a result of an earlier patient arriving late for his/her appointment. This "snowball effect" often accumulates to a noticeable delay for a later scheduled patient. Sometimes unanticipated issues arise for patients who are hospitalized and require immediate attention. A final reason we have found for running late related to an unexpected complicated medical case requiring more time than scheduled. As part of addressing this difficult issue, we are regularly implementing new mechanisms in scheduling, reminder calls, surveys, and office flow analysis. Your feedback is always appreciated.